Words that just won't stick

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linguoboy
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby linguoboy » 2019-11-21, 17:52

So this is a weird one.

Despite learning Spanish before Catalan, I find that the latter often interferes with the former. One particular case the comes up a lot is the third-person masculine personal pronoun. The Catalan is ell, so naturally I want to do the same thing I do with most masculine nouns and add an -o to make it Spanish. Except the corresponding Spanish form is actually él, not ello. To make matters worse, ello is also a word in Spanish. In fact, it's even a pronoun. But it's a neuter pronoun, so it virtually never ever makes sense to use ello where Catalan uses ell.

I know all this (and have since forever) and yet somehow I manage to forget it on a regular basis when speaking Spanish.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Ciarán12

Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-11-23, 20:03

For some reason, even though it's a very common word, whenever I have to say camiseta ("shirt") in Portuguese I hesitate. When I first learned the word a few years ago, I identified it as a diminutive of (es) camisa, and I learned shortly after that if you tack on the usual diminutive ending ~inho/~inha you get camisinha - "condom". Whenever I have to say the word I have a mental struggle going on between all three of these terms to sort out which one is which and, in particular, to not say the one that means "condom" in a conext were that would be embarrassing, hence the hesitation...

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby linguoboy » 2019-12-20, 18:19

With God as my witness, if I have to look up gadael ("let") or gafael ("hold") one more time to figure out which is which in a particular passage, I'm going to get them tattooed on my forearms.
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Yasna » 2019-12-20, 18:44

linguoboy wrote:With God as my witness, if I have to look up gadael ("let") or gafael ("hold") one more time to figure out which is which in a particular passage, I'm going to get them tattooed on my forearms.

Before you do that, gafael appears to be cognate with German Gabel, with which you can easily associate the "hold" meaning. Also, Welsh gefel apparently means "tongs".
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Ciarán12

Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-12-20, 22:30

Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:With God as my witness, if I have to look up gadael ("let") or gafael ("hold") one more time to figure out which is which in a particular passage, I'm going to get them tattooed on my forearms.

Before you do that, gafael appears to be cognate with German Gabel, with which you can easily associate the "hold" meaning. Also, Welsh gefel apparently means "tongs".


Also Irish gafa - "taken, held". Not sure if it's an actual cognate, but the association should help anyway.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Gormur » 2019-12-21, 18:06

linguoboy wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:But I agree with Koko that the distinction is unknown to most people, me included. I generally call the children of my first cousins my "second cousins" even though strictly speaking they're my "first cousins once removed".

I found it pretty easy to grasp once it was explained to me: the ordinal refers to how many generations back you need to go from your parents to find a common ancestor. My first cousins share a grandparent with me, my second cousins share a great-grandparent, my third cousins a great-great-grandparent and so forth. "Removes" then count how many generations off you are from that. My first cousin's children are my first cousins "once removed", their children would be "twice removed", and so forth.

One distinction which causes a lot of confusion because it's so rare in this day-and-age is "double first cousins". This is when two sets of siblings marry, so your natural uncle/aunt is also your aunt/uncle' in-law. My husband has a set of double first cousins, and whenever he mentions this he finds himself having to explain what it means.


Actually, when you have a great-aunt or uncle with children they are your 1st cousin once removed. All it's saying is that you are cousins with one generation ahead of you :|

On language; i get acá and aca, also aquí mixed up. I guess i never hear an accent on aquí especially. Does that make sense? :para: :?
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Gormur » 2019-12-21, 18:14

Dormouse559 wrote:[first cousin once removed = child of your first cousin / your parent's first cousin (depending on which side of relationship you're on)


Actually it's still the same. !st cousin twice removed

EDIT: I was thinking of cousins that are married. BTW i have a 1st cousin once removed with children with his 3rd cousin (wife). How are they related to me :lol:
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby eskandar » 2020-04-27, 16:06

Italian sostare (to park; to stop, halt). It always makes me think of Spanish asustar (to frighten), which is obviously unhelpful. What's the etymology, anyway?
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby linguoboy » 2020-04-27, 16:27

(ga) achrann quarrelling, strife

This should be easy to remember. After all, it's practically onomatopoetic. And if that weren't enough, this is a metaphorical extension of the earlier meaning "tangled undergrowth" and crann "tree" is right there, so I also have a mnemonic. But somehow I end up staring at it dumbly. Am I confusing it with a word like acmhainn? I wish I knew.

At least I finally seem able to remember (es) albañal "sewer" after confusing it with (es) albañil "bricklayer" for what seemed like forever.
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Saim » 2020-04-27, 16:51

eskandar wrote:Italian sostare (to park; to stop, halt). It always makes me think of Spanish asustar (to frighten), which is obviously unhelpful. What's the etymology, anyway?


Treccani says it’s from Latin “substare” (to be underneath).

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby eskandar » 2020-04-28, 2:14

Saim wrote:Treccani says it’s from Latin “substare” (to be underneath).

Grazie!
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

Brzeczyszczykiewicz

Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Brzeczyszczykiewicz » 2020-04-29, 17:48

In my case, and until very recently, I used to suffer because of two English "non-stickers": differ and confer

It wasn't their meaning that nonplussed me, but their different stress, I just kept mixing them up all the time.

I might come up with a few more later on, I could definitely use venting some of that non-sticking rage.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Brzeczyszczykiewicz » 2020-05-02, 1:38

How could I forget about these two?!

original(e) / originel(le)

In this case, correct stress was, evidently, no problem; no, here the meaning was the problem. I just could never remember which one was supposed to be used to talk about something that appears to be new, that has never been done before, and which one meant "original" as in "at first, at the beginning".


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